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How accurate of the times are these uniforms?


roxfan00

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Me and my wife were driving around today and noticed a vintage baseball game going on. It was cool to see them play ball without the use of a glove. The pictures are from a website that holds these vintage baseball games.

This is a player from the Denver Blue Stockings

opening%20day%206%20jpg.JPG

Not sure the other teams name

opening%20day%2014%20jpg.JPG

Here is the website of the league.

http://www.cvbba.org/about.shtml

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According to the website

The Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association (CVBBA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 dedicated to the preservation of the history of 19th century base ball in Colorado, and the education of the public through demonstrations, workshops, lectures and living history "performances" in the form of matches.

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They appear to be accurate of their time period, just not the same time period.

I've heard of this happening - one team will traditionally play by 1864 rules, another will customarily use 1886 rules. Because there aren't enough clubs to have full 1864 or 1886 leagues, or just because the teams want to play each other for some reason, they play under the home team's rules.

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Strictly speaking, the gray and blue Old-English-D Denver uniforms are historically plausible roughly as follows:

Cap: In use from very late 1850s on, though not the dominant cap form until the 1880s.

Shirt: In common use from 1850s on, through the turn of the century.

Knickers: Known examples from late 1860s, but generally uncommon until early 1870s.

I'm a founding member of the Chesapeake and Potomac Base Ball Club vintage team. Most clubs try, whenever possible, to recreate actual uniforms worn by actual teams from a specific year. But in many cases, particularly outside the East Coast, no photographic images or drawings of early teams are known to exist. In that case, vintage teams aim for historical plausibility, based on evidence such as photos of other teams from the same years, archive copies of sporting goods catalogs and ads, and so on. And because elements like knickers and the pillbox cap communicate "old-fashioned" more clearly to fans than strictly accurate uniforms otherwise would, teams sometimes opt for slightly anachronistic uniform elements. So while the Denver uniforms are perfectly plausible for a team from the 1870s, many teams playing by 1860s rules adopt that style of uniform.

The other uniform, with the red suspenders, is pretty much in line with known photographs of "country" teams from the 1860s. Long pants, suspenders, shirt, and cap. (The round cap in one form or another has been in use nearly from the beginning of baseball uniforms.) Suspenders are the most suspect element; the period sporting goods catalogs I've seen really push belts for athletes instead of suspenders. (Whereas in normal civilian dress seems suspenders seem to be used nearly universally to hold up pants, though the suspenders would never have been displayed in public due to codes of dress propriety that required shirtsleeves to be covered in the presence of a woman, and vests to be worn at all other times.)

Our uniforms on the Chesapeake & Potomac are "inspired by" uniforms rather than specific-team reproductions, and are really more appropriate for a team from 1866 or later, though we play by the rules in use in 1864-1865. But knickers really "sell" the vintage aspect to onlookers, like the tourists who watched our tournament on the National Mall a few weekends back. We may at some point adjust our rules to match a late-1860s uniform and our improving playing skills.

Anyway, the comparison I'd make regarding the precise accuracy versus apparent authenticity of uniform style is to Civil War reenactors, especially Confederate reenactors. They tend to have much more regular uniforms than were in use, and Confederate reenactors tend to have much nicer gray tunics, rather than the dirty tan that defined many actual Confederate uniforms. But if one side showed up in dirty tan shirts with blue pants, spectators might not recognize them as the Confederate army. So they wear nice matching gray shirts and everybody recognizes them.

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Awesome post. I am a member of the Civil War Society and while little innacuracies annoy some members, I think it's great that people are giving their best efforts (much less any effots in today's world!).

To the poster who noted the minivan (and to tie this into the Civil War), your observation reminded me of how, in the movie Gettysburg, you can see a car driving in the distance in one of the scenes (as well as digital watches on some of the soldiers).

Good funny observation!

Rob

Strictly speaking, the gray and blue Old-English-D Denver uniforms are historically plausible roughly as follows:

Cap: In use from very late 1850s on, though not the dominant cap form until the 1880s.

Shirt: In common use from 1850s on, through the turn of the century.

Knickers: Known examples from late 1860s, but generally uncommon until early 1870s.

I'm a founding member of the Chesapeake and Potomac Base Ball Club vintage team. Most clubs try, whenever possible, to recreate actual uniforms worn by actual teams from a specific year. But in many cases, particularly outside the East Coast, no photographic images or drawings of early teams are known to exist. In that case, vintage teams aim for historical plausibility, based on evidence such as photos of other teams from the same years, archive copies of sporting goods catalogs and ads, and so on. And because elements like knickers and the pillbox cap communicate "old-fashioned" more clearly to fans than strictly accurate uniforms otherwise would, teams sometimes opt for slightly anachronistic uniform elements. So strictly speaking the Denver uniforms are perfectly plausible for a team from the 1870s, many teams playing by 1860s rules adopt that style of uniform.

The other uniform, with the red suspenders, is pretty much in line with known photographs of "country" teams from the 1860s. Long pants, suspenders, shirt, and cap. (The round cap in one form or another has been in use nearly from the beginning of baseball uniforms.) Suspenders are the most suspect element; the preiod sporting goods catalogs I've seen really push belts for athletes instead of suspenders. (Whereas normal civilian dress seems to have used suspenders nearly universally to hold up pants, though the suspenders would never have been displayed in public due to codes of dress propriety that required shirtsleeves to be covered in the presence of a woman, and vests to be worn at all other times.)

Our uniforms with the Chesapeake & Potomac are "inspired by" uniforms rather than specific-team reproductions, and are really more appropriate for a team from 1866 or later, though we play by the rules in use in 1864-1865. But knickers really "sells" the vintage aspect to onlookers, like the tourists who watched our tournament on the National Mall a few weekends back. We may at some point adjust our rules to match a late-1860s uniform and our improving playing skills.

Anyway, the comparison I'd make regarding the precise accuracy versus apparent authenticity of uniform style is to Civil War reenactors, especially Confederate reenactors. They tend to have much more regular uniforms than were in use, and Confederate reenactors tend to have much nicer gray tunics, rather than the dirty tan that defined many actual Confederate uniforms. But if one side showed up in dirty tan shirts with blue pants, spectators might not recognize them as the Confederate army. So they wear nice matching gray shirts and everybody recognizes them.

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1884 rules:

1. No buggery on the gaming field.

2. The hurler shall henceforth be barred from performing the 'wheelbarrow strut monkey' throw.

3. Slave runs count for half.

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